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-   -   Mild Provocation Edition (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2000)

Bloggingheads 07-31-2008 02:28 PM

Mild Provocation Edition
 

claymisher 07-31-2008 02:36 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Ah yes, more insight from the author of "The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush"!

mmacklem 07-31-2008 02:39 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
In what alternate universe does David Frum = MILD provocation? If the goal is to increase the provocation factor, then I'm curious to see Ted Stevens on next week, leading up the final week of Jesse Helms.

(Not that I am equating David Frum with either Mr. Stevens or Mr. Helms. Let no one call me hysterical.)

TwinSwords 07-31-2008 02:39 PM

Um, "truth?"
 
David says "the truth is the best defense." Are all conservatives this lacking in intellectual rigor? A couple of our own favorite conservatives recently treated the national enquirer story as virtually true, too, despite a complete lack of any evidence. Isn't that something? Chomsky made the point long ago that when you are saying stuff people want to believe, no proof is actually required. The only evidence required to "prove" a point is that it satisfy the wishes of the audience.

Note: I am not denying Edwards has a love child. I'm also waiting for someone to provide evidence that he does.

Isn't it interesting that the Nat'l Enquirer went to all that trouble to stake out Edwards in the middle of the night, hanging around the hotel for hours .... in 2008 .... and they didn't have a camera with them? Maybe one of the intellectually rigorous conservatives can explain that one.

claymisher 07-31-2008 02:40 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
It's true, there's been great strides in the homeless issue. But you know what, it's only possible now because if this happened under a Democratic administration, conservatives would be screaming bloody murder about giving drunks free housing. This is like how Nixon gets credit for going to China, when the reason no one else could go is because Nixon was around calling everybody a traitor.

claymisher 07-31-2008 02:42 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Malcolm Gladwell's "Million-Dollar Murray" has the goods:

http://www.gladwell.com/2006/2006_02_13_a_murray.html

Joel_Cairo 07-31-2008 03:25 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
I personally think I'd take issue with here. The section of the clergy that was anti-Mossadegh was not the proto-Khomeini wing, but rather the resolutely apolitical traditional ulema, analagous to modern-day Sistani types.

uncle ebeneezer 07-31-2008 03:53 PM

Re: Frum Justifies Big Government
 
The next time a Republican (or Libertarian) makes the government-is-the-problem argument, play them this:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/132...7&out=00:05:54

I thought I was listening to Glenn Loury or Joshua Cohen for a minute.

nikkibong 07-31-2008 03:56 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
David Frum discusses his colleagues at the National Review:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/132...3&out=00:03:26

osmium 07-31-2008 04:07 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by claymisher (Post 85683)
It's true, there's been great strides in the homeless issue. But you know what, it's only possible now because if this happened under a Democratic administration, conservatives would be screaming bloody murder about giving drunks free housing. This is like how Nixon gets credit for going to China, when the reason no one else could go is because Nixon was around calling everybody a traitor.

I didn't really find the homeless argument to be blood-pressure raising as advertised. David's assertion that this is a right/left dividable question doesn't resonate with me. I think I'm a "liberal," but I could be in error. The left wing that wants to re-engineer society strikes me as marginal and dilettante these days, and I see much more FDR-style "try different solutions till something works" pragmatism. Or at least that's the way the air feels.

An emotional left/right axis--the one David is refering to from the 80s--exists on the level of "these bums should get a job" vs. "they are victims of circumstance." But building halfway houses to deal with the mental health problems of the homeless doesn't really fall on the "right" side of that axis. Any solution other than praising social darwinism strikes me as good.

Thus Spoke Elvis 07-31-2008 04:16 PM

Re: Um, "truth?"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 85682)
David says "the truth is the best defense." Are all conservatives this lacking in intellectual rigor? A couple of our own favorite conservatives recently treated the national enquirer story as virtually true, too, despite a complete lack of any evidence.

You don't think the circumstantial evidence is really strong? Two Enquirer reporters claim that they themselves saw and questioned Edwards at the hotel (we've already discussed in another thread the difference in terms of potential liability in a libel suit between the paper claiming an "unnamed source" said something happened and claiming that it's own reporters saw something happen). Fox News later interviewed the security guard who escorted Edwards out. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but it seems to me that if John Edwards is seen visiting a hotel at 2:30 a.m. where an alleged mistress is staying under the name of an Edwards associate, and he runs away and hides in a restroom when confronted asked what he's doing there, that's pretty strong evidence that something fishy is going on.

Quote:

Isn't it interesting that the Nat'l Enquirer went to all that trouble to stake out Edwards in the middle of the night, hanging around the hotel for hours .... in 2008 .... and they didn't have a camera with them? Maybe one of the intellectually rigorous conservatives can explain that one.
Kaus reports that the Enquirer says they have photos, but are delaying their release until they milk the story for a couple more issues.

allbetsareoff 07-31-2008 05:11 PM

Re: Wilder effect
 
The Wilder effect was a result about 8 points below immediate pre-election poll numbers. On the other hand, Doug Wilder was elected governor of Virginia in 1989. It would be nice to think racial attitudes have advanced in 20 years.

John M 07-31-2008 05:31 PM

From the Straight Talk Express
 
Dear My Friends,

Here's some straight talk:

David Frum is a great Canuck-American who recognized early-on the grave threat of Islamofascism to America and our allies (Aussies, Brits, maybe Poland).

The poetry of an "Axis of Evil," which we owe to Mr. Frum, has proven of sufficient horsepower to last 100 years in evil Iraq alone. Once we ba-ba-bam Iran we can turn that into a millenium, easy.

Secondly, John Edwards is a beloved Senatorial colleague and not a philandering Asshole. If and when men dilly-dally in the Senate it should remain private, between them and their mistresses (or bitches, as my young voters say).

When I dilly-dallied on my first wife and dumped her because she was getting fat and had been in a bad car wreak, people were discreet. It was a different time. Better.

Nowadays, a man knocks up a journalist or cuddles with a lobbyist ("I DID not have sex with that woman, Vicki Iseman), and everyone wants to cut his balls off.

Cindy, by the way, gives me permission to cuddle with my friends, my friends.

What she doesn't go for is oral sex. Which is fine by me. Back in the day, when I was at Annapolis, real men didn't do cunnilinguis. Just sissies, and maybe Jews. Now anything goes. Eat this, eat that.

What happened to our moral values, my friends? We need more David Frums and fewer David Sodoms (does that rhyme?) God bless America, my friends.

John MCCAIN

Thus Spoke Elvis 07-31-2008 05:46 PM

Re: From the Straight Talk Express
 
I'm enjoying John M.'s posts, but I have a feeling this will get tiresome really quick if he's not careful (but what do I know? Allah in the House was gold for almost a year before burning out).

Pace yourself, my friend, we've still got the conventions, the debates, and the election.

DoctorMoney 07-31-2008 06:20 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by osmium (Post 85697)
I didn't really find the homeless argument to be blood-pressure raising as advertised. David's assertion that this is a right/left dividable question doesn't resonate with me. I think I'm a "liberal," but I could be in error. The left wing that wants to re-engineer society strikes me as marginal and dilettante these days, and I see much more FDR-style "try different solutions till something works" pragmatism. Or at least that's the way the air feels.

An emotional left/right axis--the one David is refering to from the 80s--exists on the level of "these bums should get a job" vs. "they are victims of circumstance." But building halfway houses to deal with the mental health problems of the homeless doesn't really fall on the "right" side of that axis. Any solution other than praising social darwinism strikes me as good.

I agree, the left right divide has never been much more than one side that wants to make it more of a priority and one side that wants to make it less.

p.e. 07-31-2008 06:29 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Bob & David argue over whether tax cuts at the top can cause people to lose their mortgage. Deficits can drive up interest rates, and if you have an adjustable rate mortgage, that translates to higher payments, conceivably beyond your ability to pay.

bjkeefe 07-31-2008 06:33 PM

Re: Frum Justifies Big Government
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 85695)
The next time a Republican (or Libertarian) makes the government-is-the-problem argument, play them this:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/132...7&out=00:05:54

I thought I was listening to Glenn Loury or Joshua Cohen for a minute.

Yup. And you could also play them the section and show them the link to the purported improvement of the homeless situation. If true, it's thanks to the federal government taking over from a lot of local organizations.

John M 07-31-2008 06:45 PM

Re: From the Straight Talk Express
 
Quote:

Pace yourself, my friend, we've still got the conventions, the debates, and the election.
Dear My Friend Elvis,

I don't have a temper, but Blankety-blank-Goddamitmutherfu***er93487@#&&%#^%$!!!!!!! I don't need your advice on my demographics. We are leading comfortably in the Bloggheads polls since I joined the Gang of 12.

Tennessee is a cakewalk anyway, even if you have the coloreds from Memphis. I do NOT need your endorsement.

And by the way, aren't you dead? Even if you aren't dead, you're a year older than I am, so pipe down with the insinuations about "pacing myself." If you paced yourself with the booze and dope, you'd be alive today.

Rock on and God bless America,
John MCCAIN

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee 07-31-2008 06:51 PM

Israeli-Palestinian Discussion
 
I don't really want to get deep into this discussion right now, having several times previously forsworn internet discussion of this particular conflict and having never really seen much benefit from the discussion that has occurred in comments sections regarding it but I feel compelled to say this:

I don't get Mr. Frum's contention that the Palestinians do not "lose" anything when they choose to go to war and "lose". First, I of course disagree completely with the notion that a state of occupation is not a state of war. There was no peace before the 2nd intifada.

Putting that completely to the side however, and without even arguing about whether Palestinians have the moral or legal right to resist or whether violent resistance is the best strategic or moral option, etc. etc. but just engaging with Mr. Frum's claim that the Palestinians are incentivized to fight because "if they win they win and if they lose they stay at the same place" how can he ignore the following:

(1) the Status Quo is a state of constant suffering for almost all Palestinians. Prolonging the status quo or even making conditions much harsher (which is what happens when the Palestinians actively resist) only brings more suffering. Again, regardless of whether one thinks what any or all Palestinians do is correct or even if one thinks some or all Palestinians "deserve" what they have to go through one cannot deny that the Palestinian refusal to completely surrender to the Israelis and the prolonging of the conflict results in suffering on both sides, but the suffering falls much more disproportionately on the Palestinian side. They are willing to undergo that for a combination of two reasons, first, they don't see any acceptable alternative being offered by the Israelis and second, they believe that by resisting they are defending an important principle which is more important than their own pragmatic interests.

Again, regardless of whether all of one's sympathies are with the Israelis or not, I find the attitude expressed by Mr. Frum that somehow there are no costs to the Palestinians of active resistance, despite the thousands of deaths, the almost universal economic misery, the daily humiliations, the thousands rotting away in prisons, the torture that so many have undergone at the hands of the Israelis to be utterly bizarre.

It is also, as Mr. Wright pointed out, ridiculous that Israel, a nuclear power with by far the most powerful military in the region, backed unconditionally by the world's lone so-called superpower is considered by itself or by someone like Mr. Frum to be some kind of underdog.

Wonderment 07-31-2008 07:19 PM

Re: Israeli-Palestinian Discussion
 
Quote:

Again, regardless of whether all of one's sympathies are with the Israelis or not, I find the attitude expressed by Mr. Frum that somehow there are no costs to the Palestinians of active resistance, despite the thousands of deaths, the almost universal economic misery, the daily humiliations, the thousands rotting away in prisons, the torture that so many have undergone at the hands of the Israelis to be utterly bizarre.
Yes, the sentiment is truly revolting. Thank you for the reality check. There is a segment of the American right for whom Arab suffering is always irrelevant or non-existent.

Quote:

It is also, as Mr. Wright pointed out, ridiculous that Israel, a nuclear power with by far the most powerful military in the region, backed unconditionally by the world's lone so-called superpower is considered by itself or by someone like Mr. Frum to be some kind of underdog.
The myth of Israel as a tiny nation struggling to survive is a hard one to debunk. It's been a cornerstone of Israeli propaganda for decades, while Israel -- a rogue nuclear state that spends billions of US taxpayer dollars on defense annually -- has played a major role in the international arms trade and in shaping global diplomacy.

More worrisome than the usual Frum anti-Arab/Muslim xenophobia, however, are two emerging factors: 1) Gazastan as a separate entity from the richer, more moderate and more secular West Bank and 2) the God-help-us-all likelihood of the election of Netanyahu as Israeli PM.

On a separate note, have you seen the wonderful Israeli movie "The Band's Visit"? It's a moving and humorous story about Jews and Arabs interacting in the Israeli heartland.

JerseyBoy 07-31-2008 07:28 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
The are-you-better-off analogy misses the mark. Reagan posed that question when challenging an incumbent president, whereas Obama is running against a fellow Senator who was one of the more vocal Republican critics of the Bush Administration.

thouartgob 07-31-2008 07:42 PM

Re: Israeli-Palestinian Discussion
 
Quote:

I don't get Mr. Frum's contention that the Palestinians do not "lose" anything when they choose to go to war and "lose". First, I of course disagree completely with the notion that a state of occupation is not a state of war.
Shorter Frum: More Rubble Less Trouble.

I would guess, based on previous diavlogs ( with Heather Hurlbert I believe ), that Mr. Frum believes that the only way the Palestians will understand that they have lost is if they are crushed just like any other opponent ( he chose WW2 shockingly enough ) so I guess the idea is there is an excess amount of Palestinians at the end of these conflicts. My question is how much of a reduction in the Palestinian population would get point across 5%, 10% or ...

I basically agree with Abu/Wonderment about the Israel hardly being the underdog. They don't have much in the way of real estate so almost any Tactical mistake could quickly lead to a grave strategic problem. Pre-Nuke-Armed Israel did a more than competent job and I would guess that not only does their nuclear arsenal offer a substantial offset to their geographical deficit but also I suspect that their non-nuclear abilities would hold them in good stead ( I would guess air-gas munitions, anti-tank everything mmm lots of stuff ).

bjkeefe 07-31-2008 08:13 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
This is a classic Frum moment. As usual, he won't just admit the most basic of facts when they make his side look bad. Instead, he throws out something that, while not precisely a lie, comes as close as you can get and still walk away from it.

It was not just "Jon Stewart who said that." Many rightwingers said it, and they weren't being satirical. For example, Charles Krauthammer said it, on Brit Hume's show. Ana Marie Cox said it, right here on BH.tv. And as Bob tried to point out before being Frummed, it was all over the wingnutosphere, whether stated explicitly, via wink-wink methods, or in pictures. Just to pick a few, see RedState, Pam Atlas, Gateway Pundit, and Melissa Clouthier.

Google only knows how many posts there are out there with weaselly phrases like "while I'm not comparing Obama to Hitler, ..." and "I'm not saying Obama is Hitler, but ..." Toss in the associations with fascism, Mussolini, and brown shirts (the PUMA people love this one). And, for dessert, consider Ben Stein. While Obama's speech in Germany was fresh in everyone's mind, Stein, on Glenn Beck's show, compared Obama to Hitler because Obama plans to give his acceptance speech in a stadium instead of a convention center. He's far from the only one to have drawn this comparison, but I'm sick of collecting links to prove how wrong Frum is.

And then there's Frum's habit of making inane assertions that have no basis in fact. For example. Does anyone really know what to expect from John McCain beyond a desire to conduct diplomacy at gunpoint, preserve Bush's tax cuts for the rich, and stack the Supreme Court with anti-choice judges? I challenge David Frum to rebut The Official McCain Flip Flop List. The count is now up to 72, by the way.

Ahhh, what's the point? The truth is, David Frum has so little credibility with me anymore that I failed to be outraged by today's performance. I mean, come on. Does it get any more ridiculous than pimping a self-serving book written by the "stupidest fucking guy on the planet?" I'm tired of Frum's slipperiness and his being permanently stuck on spin cycle, but I no longer get much worked up about it.

In my dreams, though, David Frum would not be allowed to appear on BH.tv unless Rick Perlstein gets to be in on the call. We need someone to deploy the buzzer. My thumb is tired.

bjkeefe 07-31-2008 08:35 PM

Re: Israeli-Palestinian Discussion
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 85726)
More worrisome than the usual Frum anti-Arab/Muslim xenophobia, however, are two emerging factors: 1) Gazastan as a separate entity from the richer, more moderate and more secular West Bank and 2) the God-help-us-all likelihood of the election of Netanyahu as Israeli PM.

Even more worrisome.

I didn't even get the slightest hint of humor here. He's serious.

How is Frum's God is on our side, but we're still the underdogs attitude any different from the one held by those he so eagerly seeks to destroy?

Wonderment 07-31-2008 08:45 PM

Re: Israeli-Palestinian Discussion
 
Quote:

I didn't even get the slightest hint of humor here. He's serious.
Naw. Much as I deplore Frum, that was just a bit of bad-taste humor. People who really believe that (like Bush) won't say it in public unless they are professiona suicide-cult nuclear holocaust-mongers:

http://silencedmajority.blogs.com/ph..._and_doom3.jpg

bjkeefe 07-31-2008 08:52 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JerseyBoy (Post 85727)
The are-you-better-off analogy misses the mark. Reagan posed that question when challenging an incumbent president, whereas Obama is running against a fellow Senator who was one of the more vocal Republican critics of the Bush Administration.

Please. Don't swallow McCain's PR. He stopped criticizing Bush years ago. He has flip-flopped on the Bush tax cuts and gone silent on the Bushian views of torture and extraordinary rendition. He has voted in the Senate the way Bush wanted him to 100% of the time in 2008, 95% of the time in 2007, and it wasn't much more mavericky the six years before that. (source | cached version) And the only way he's different from Bush on war is he likes it even more.

Want some more info on this? Start here.

He is McSame, no matter how much he'd like to pretend otherwise.

bjkeefe 07-31-2008 08:56 PM

Re: Israeli-Palestinian Discussion
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 85732)
Naw. Much as I deplore Frum, that was just a bit of bad-taste humor.

I dunno. Keep watching past the end of my original dingalink, and tell me where you see some indication of this.

I call on David Frum to renounce and reject God.

Okay, maybe that's asking a little too much.

Still think he's serious about this, though.

AemJeff 07-31-2008 08:58 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 85729)
David Frum [should] not be allowed to appear on BH.tv

Damn point zero zero one percenter trying to get another conservative banned.

BTW even some usually reasonable folks have forgotten about Godwin recently.

bjkeefe 07-31-2008 09:17 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 85736)
Damn point zero zero one percenter trying to get another conservative banned.

Not banned. Just subject to what strikes me as eminently reasonable conditions. Benign, one might even say.

Quote:

BTW even some usually reasonable folks have forgotten about Godwin recently.
If I didn't think Ross was a pretty good guy, I'd be suspicious that he was pulling the old MSM stunt of writing about other people writing about something, purely so he could write about it.

AemJeff 07-31-2008 09:27 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 85740)
Not banned. Just subject to what strikes me as eminently reasonable conditions. Benign, one might even say.

Heh.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 85740)
If I didn't think Ross was a pretty good guy, I'd be suspicious that he was pulling the old MSM stunt of writing about other people writing about something, purely so he could write about it.

The deeply weird thing about Republicans trying to exploit this speech is the prior examples of Reagan and Bush as obvious counterweights. The first major party black American presidential candidate speaks at this location and you compare him to the Nazis? When your current standard bearer and most glorified icon have both done the same? Who devised this strategy, Jonah Goldberg?

bjkeefe 07-31-2008 09:34 PM

Re: From the Straight Talk Express
 
Senator:

I commend you on your ability to suppress any mention of "trollop" or That Other Word while you were demonstrating how you don't lose your temper.

bjkeefe 07-31-2008 09:37 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 85741)
Who devised this strategy, Jonah Goldberg?

No. He is a very serious, thoughtful person who would never devise such a strategy in such detail or with such care.

AemJeff 07-31-2008 09:41 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 85743)
No. He is a very serious, thoughtful person who would never devise such a strategy in such detail or with such care.

I'm speechless. There is no adequate response.

harkin 07-31-2008 09:58 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
So much fun watching people being outraged after years of comparisons of Bush to Hitler. Priceless.

While I certainly can't compare Obama to Adolf (I think it's ridiculous to compare anyone to Hitler and shows an ignorance of history, sort of like when BO said the 'world stood as one' to save Berlin), I will certainly compare him to race-baiters. His New Yorker moment came when he said:

"So what they’re saying is, ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he’s... doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, you know, he’s got a, he’s got a funny name."

If your opponent refuses to inject race into the discussion, you do it for him. Shameful.

grits-n-gravy 07-31-2008 10:02 PM

Re: The Philippines Analogy
 
David betrays the neocon's imperialist aims in Iraq when he defines success in Iraq as something resembling how the Philippine 'war' ended. Was that a freudian slip?

If, as David asserts, we don't want to reward nations that start wars by returning lost territory, then we certainly shouldn't want the US rewarded with long term military bases in Iraq, not to mention a free hand in Iraq's oil industry, for its unbridled aggression.

AemJeff 07-31-2008 10:09 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 85745)
"So what they’re saying is, ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he’s... doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, you know, he’s got a, he’s got a funny name."

If your opponent refuses to inject race into the discussion, you do it for him. Shameful.

Really? No accidental "Obama"/"Osama" confusions, no emphasis on the Church he attended, no repeated references to the at least two-degrees-of separation connection to Farrakhan through that church, no repetition of "race-baiting" charges, no "white people beware" whisper campaign, it goes on...? All of these things have occured. Has it ever been exaggerated by Obama campaign? How many potential arguments with this kind of potential potency, and so little downside for a candidate, haven't been used and abused? That's politics, Harkin.

Wonderment 07-31-2008 10:12 PM

Re: Israeli-Palestinian Discussion
 
Quote:

Still think he's serious about this, though.
Well, he's certainly serious about demonizing Palestinians and clinging to a point of view consistent with the militantly right-wing minority of the Israeli Jewish population.

So small wonder that the moronic Bush --influenced by the likes of Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz, Frum, Podhoretz (père et fils), Bolton, Cheney and Rumsfeld --- would end up being so thoroughly despised by the rest of the world that does not belong to the Likud Party.

For permanently alienating the entire Arab/Muslim world how could you possibly beat 1) adopting the Likud position on Israel-Palestine, 2) invading and occupying Afghanistan, 3) invading and occupying Iraq, 4) Guantánamo, 5) Abu Ghreib.

Oh, I know. Threatening to start a war with Iran.

bjkeefe 07-31-2008 10:21 PM

Re: Mild Provocation Edition
 
And, to AemJeff's fine response, add this:

Quote:

To understand the dynamics of this campaign you have to understand the role of Karl Rove and his proteges who've taken over McCain's campaign. Rove himself previewed the key messages of the campaign early in the year in two vignettes about Obama -- first, Obama as the "trash-talking" basketball player who's both cocky and "lazy", and second, Obama as the cocky black guy at the country club with a hot chick on his arm who's looking down at you.

bjkeefe 07-31-2008 10:23 PM

Re: Israeli-Palestinian Discussion
 
You know how Frum would respond to that fine post?

"I've been saying for years we won't attack Iran. Uh, uh, umm, let's segue into our next topic."

Namazu 07-31-2008 11:32 PM

Credit bubble, credit crunch
 
I think I can guess who does the finances in the Wright household (to be fair, David didn't really nail the issue either). You can blame Bush for running up the national debt, and for failing to adequately regulate mortgage originations and Wall Street. You can't blame him for high mortgage rates, for the simple reason that we've been enjoying record low rates for over a decade.

The credit crunch we're experiencing now is part of the inevitable unwind of the most massive credit bubble in history. Easy credit (i.e., Greenspan, with an assist from Chinese mercantilism) is responsible for the bookends of the problem: cheap money on the front end and yield-hungry suckers willing to buy the sausage (CMOs, etc.) on the back-end. In the middle (where you Adminstration bears responsibility, along with others) are lightly-regulated originations, corrupt bond rating and insurance industries, under-capitalized banks and brokers, and the Fannie/Freddie clusterf*ck.

Sub-prime is going to be a small fraction of the problem, whether measured as a fraction of household wealth destruction or losses to the financial system. Speculators were a significant part of run-up in select areas like South Florida and Vegas. It remains to be seen how many non-flippers who aren't under financial stress will engage in "jingle mail" because they're underwater on a bloated re-fi. What is certain is that US household wealth was vastly inflated by the run-up in housing prices and is now evaporating in amounts measured in the trillions. Regardless of how deep the recession is or how many jobs are lost, we will feel the effects for many years.

I think bhtv should have some people on who really understand this stuff, and will forward some names to the booking department.


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